LIVING WELL: Cooperative Extension to celebrate centennial
by Carol Lea Spence -- UK Ag News
Apr 16, 2014 | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
May 8, 2014 marks the centennial of the signing of the Smith-Lever Act which established Cooperative Extension, the nationwide transformational education system operating through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state, and local governments. Specifically, the Act stated as its purpose, “In order to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture, uses of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy, and to encourage the application of the same, there may be continued or inaugurated in connection with the college of colleges in each State, Territory, or possession . . .” To understand the reasoning behind the Smith-Lever Act, you need to go back in history to 1862 and the establishment of the “college of colleges.”

The “college of colleges” refers to the Land-Grant institution in each state. The first of these was established by the Morrill Act of 1862. This act provided 30,000 acres of federal land granted to each state for the establishment of a college that would teach engineering, agriculture, and military tactics. For Kentucky this was the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the Kentucky University, now known as the University of Kentucky. The Morrill Act of 1890 gave land-grant status to many historically black universities, with Kentucky State University receiving this status in Kentucky.

Once these land-grant institutions were established, there was an effort to establish experiment stations that would allow increased research and demonstration of farm practices. This led to the Hatch Act of 1887 and the establishment of Agricultural Experiment Stations, although at least 13 states, including Kentucky, had established agricultural experiment stations 10 year prior to this legislation.

The push for ways to bring the research of these institutions to the farmers and families in the state who needed it continued. In Iowa and Louisiana, this push was led by a man named Seaman Knapp, who is known as the father of the home demonstration technique. Mr. Knapp implemented improved agricultural techniques on his own farm to show other farmers that they worked. He encouraged these farmers to implement the practices on their own farms.

This effort by Mr. Knapp to get information to the local citizenry resulted in the Smith-Lever Act of 1914. This law established a system of cooperative extension services connected to the land-grant universities in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy, leadership, 4-H, economic development and many other related subjects. Its main form of teaching was the home demonstration technique developed earlier by Mr. Knapp.

Today’s extension service is cooperative in the way that its services are funded. Money is appropriated from federal and state sources through the University of Kentucky and program costs are shared by each county. Agents can be employed to work with agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H, horticulture, community development, and fine arts. The University of Kentucky works cooperatively with Kentucky State University to provide services small farms that include specialty crops such as vineyards, vegetable and fruit production, and aquaculture. The mission of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service is to make a difference in the lives of Kentucky citizens through research-based education.

Cooperative Extension began in Trigg County in 1915 with the hiring of K. L. Varney as an agriculture agent. Others serving in that capacity include C. R. Wilkey (1918), Tom Morgan (1929-1943), Keith Venable (1943-1974), John P. Fourqurean (1974-1997), Jason P’Pool (1997-2004), and most recently David Fourqurean (1997-2013).

The first Home Economics, or Home Demonstration, Agent was Ms. Eleanor Whitinghill, who served in that capacity from 1935-1954. Other agents include Martha Raby (1954-1955), Patty Martin (1956-1959), Judy Black Jolly (1959-1961), Ann Thompson (1962-1963), Marinell Myers (1963-1964), Elaine Clift (1964-2006), and Brandi Bynum 2007-2008. I started my stint as the Family and Consumer Sciences agent in July, 2009, and will soon mark my 5th anniversary on the job.

Extension 4-H Agents actually arrived in Trigg County in 1935, though they were not called 4-H agents until 1962. Until then, they were considered assistant agriculture agents. The first assistant agriculture agent was Kenneth Brabant who served from 1935-1938. Other assistant agriculture agents include William Freeman Griffin, E.L. Mason, W. E. Netherland, James Erwin, George H. Hurley, Charles M. Stagner, Alfred E. Houston, Allen Wallace, George McKinney, Gordon Henshaw, and Wayne Livesay.

Extension 4-H agents include William R. Summerhill, Gilbert Sears, Dennis Goodman, Charles Brumfield, Randy Newton, Cathy Weas, Daryl Montgomery, Gretta Martin, Tim Hendricks, Paula Howe, and our present 4-H agent, Janeen Tramble, who has served in that capacity since 1996.

The Cooperative Extension Service continues to serve the needs of those in Trigg County on a daily basis. Our goal is to serve Trigg County by :

• Valuing diversity and capitalizing on its potential to strengthen programs

• Being locally-driven, flexible, and responsive

• Empowering people to solve problems, make decisions, and embrace change

• Applying knowledge and research-based information

• Accomplishing work through collaboration, volunteerism, and leadership development

• Developing youth, adults, families, and communities

We are here to help you!

The recipes found in today’s column come from the recipe books published by the Trigg County Extension Homemakers Association.

For more information, contact Cecelia Hostilo at the Trigg County Extension Office by calling 270-522-3269.

Some of the information used for this article comes from

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

Cattle Clatter Hash

Billie Martin

Wallonia Homemakers

1 pound ground beef

1⁄4 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

1 (6-ounce) package macaroni, cooked

1⁄2 pound grated cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Brown mea and push to one side. Cook the onions in the same pan until limp. Add chili powder, salt, and tomato sauce. Cover skillet and steam for 20 minutes. Add cooked macaroni and mix well. Pour into casserole dish and cool. Top with cheese and mushroom soup (I stir the mushroom soup into the hamburger and macaroni). Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes.

Pineapple Cake

Clara Lawrence

Town and Country Homemakers

Prepare and bake a Duncan Hines Golden Butter cake mix as directed on box in a 9” x 13” pan.


1 1⁄2 cup sugar

2 tablespoon flour

1 stick butter

1 tall can crushed pineapple

2 beaten eggs

Mix well in a medium saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Pour evenly over cake.

Ham Hot Rods

Maggie Crump

Ebony Twilight

1⁄2 pound cooked, diced ham

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1⁄2 cup sliced ripe olives

1⁄2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

8 hot dog buns

Combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the hot dog buns. Wrap each bun separately in foil. Cook on grill for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serves 8
Click for Cadiz, Kentucky Forecast
Sponsored By:
Beaus Blog Logo
Read Beau's Daily Analysis